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Light and Mood – The Connection

Light and Mood – The Connection

light-and-mood

How Lighting Affects Our Mood and Productivity

Lighting Affects Mood and Productivity according to a survey of 1000 adults carried out in the UK by LED Hut. But do we really need to have a survey tell us what we already know?

According to the survey 77% felt that lighting in their workplace can affect productivity and 32% said they would be happy to work under artificial light that was designed to aid productivity. Regardless of the survey this is already happening in many factories and offices with the colour and output of lighting changing as the day progresses with positive reports of the results.

Take a morning walk for example. Even on a cloudy day this exposure to the high lumens and blue-enriched light can help to make us feel more alert and get our body clocks into sync. This helps to suppress melatonin by stimulating a pigment called melanopsin in the retina’s non-visual photoreceptors and remarkably it has been found that even blind people’s circadian rhythm can be affected by exposure to this light.

Keeping our body clocks well-tuned is important, not only for our mood and productivity but also for our health, illustrated by studies that have shown that there are greater incidents of cancer and diabetes in night workers as well as the effects it can have on a wide range of hormones and sexual development.

In Britain during the winter months many of us can feel ‘down’, some people even more so if they suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder). This is hardly surprising when the average office worker will see little daylight during the months of December and January, spending hours in front of a computer and then, often in the evening on their laptops or cell phones or sitting in front of a television. So can ensue a vicious circle of disrupted sleep patterns which can affect not only our productivity but also our health.

Human-centric lighting may seem frighteningly ‘New Age’ but, when we are so far removed from our natural environment, just think how it could benefit us in the future? By finely tuning the lighting in our working environments to enhance our body clocks we are not only healthier, happier but more productive which, in turn makes the investment by companies more attractive. It can only be a positive move for all concerned.

Light and Health

Light and Health

The world or lighting design is not just about getting the planning and circuits right as lighting itself is so interwoven with our general health and circadian rhythms.

Many of us suffer from seasonal SAD disease but if we look at the influence of light on a daily basis we would be surprised how we are all affected by relatively small variances in light.  And this is not just the amount of light but also the quality such as photopic and melanopic lux which can have an affect on our sleeping patterns and how alert we feel throughout the day.

We are now becoming more aware of how using computers and tablets at night, with their blue toned LED lighting can have a negative effect on our sleep which can then have a knock-on effect to our health and well being.

Certain lighting manufacturers such as Photonstar are producing lighting technology that mimics the patterns of natural light throughout the day and therefore works with our natural rhythms.  This is a huge leap in the world of lighting and offers fascinating benefits moving the world or lighting design onto a totally new level.